Long viewed as an art form mired in chauvinism and bravado, hip hop is in the midst of ‘gender-fication’ with an upheaval in how we view, listen, and consume the music.  Talking about your glock while holding your cock, is no longer limited to male rappers. 

Nicki Minaj has taken rap, pop and R&B by storm, and melded it into her own cornucopia of pop-synth other-worldly sounds and female gansta-speak.  With Ms. Minaj at the helm, a new breed of xx-chromosomed performers are stepping to the forefront.  Here are the femcees poised to join Nicki atop hip hop’s matriarchal throne.

The Maidens

While not directly influenced by Nicki, all three of these hip hop vixens come from the same school of individualism.   At first glance, they might appear to be 'style over substance', but for these performers, style is their substance.

Hailing from Down Under, Iggy Azalea is offensively gorgeous and offensive on the mic. This fierce white girl, signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records, talks tough with a deliberate flow over banging beats, and hurls vitriol at would-be female rappers, and ‘hoes’.

Perhaps destined to be nemeses while sharing similar monikers, Azalea has beef with another maiden, Azealia Banks, over Iggy’s use of a ‘slave/master’ metaphor in a verse.  Banks, who contrary to her style and cadence, is not an import. She has a UK Garage sound, with an accent and dialect difficult to pinpoint to her Harlem roots.  Her viral hit “212” exemplifies that sound, and her hyper bi-sexuality with the hook “I guess that cunt get an eating”.

Cali native, Kreayshawn possesses the looks, but attempts to downplay her sexuality by calling for girls to not embrace the Nicki Minaj ‘living Barbie’ look.  Her YouTube video “Gucci Gucci” had millions of hits and landed this lithe beauty a deal with Columbia.  Snoop Dogg even heralded her as the link between “white girls who rap, and real rappers”.

The Traditionalists

Cut from the cloth of the traditional female emcee, these rappers prefer to flow and rhyme over beats that evade the avant-garde sounds of the ladies mentioned above.

Signed with B Major Music Group, Princess Guyana, a product of NY and the West Indies, spits over hard beats.  While she is beautiful, her flow is as attention-grabbing as her eyes.  Florida native, Brianna, evokes a similar style to Guyana.  This Poe Boy Entertainment signee harkens back to Foxy Brown both lyrically and aesthetically in her ‘Fly Kicks’ video, which got heavy rotation. 

Set apart from these other two, is a rapper who looked poised to become one of the queens of hip hop just a year ago, Angel Haze.  With an insane rapid-fire flow, and soulful singing, she might be the most lyrically gifted of the lot.  Perhaps her self-described ‘androgynous’ look is holding her back from achieving commercial success.

In The Midst

Three female rappers who couldn’t be omitted because they are ‘in the midst’ of blowing up, and on the precipice of big things. 

Her freestyles have garnered her much hype around the internet, and quite frankly, this girl can spit -keep an ear out for Nitty Scott.  Associated with his Last King’s label, Honey Cocaine - a Canadian-Cambodian with skills to spare - recently took a gunshot in the arm at one of Tyga’s shows.  An Asian female emcee who got shot?  This can only help her status grow.

Lastly, and definitely not to be ignored (for obvious reasons) is former video vixen turned femcee, Lola Monroe.  As a member of Taylor Gang, she recently featured on Wiz Khalifa's "Taylor Allderdice" and she definitely went in.  Regarded as one of the hardest females in the game, she's another one to watch.

Hip Hop is enduring a renaissance, with a change in how we listen to the music, and what we expect to hear. The globalization of hip hop has seen women’s active involvement begin to take shape in the culture.  The ascension of Kanye West’s self-exposed lyrics, and now with Drake and his emoting-brother, The Weeknd; self-introspection is no longer viewed as taboo for emcees.  Fans – male and female – have an appetite to see an artist exposed.  As the music evolution continues, it’s comforting to see these hip hop maidens in the midst.